August 8, 2007

The Scarecrow and I Might Carpool To The Wizard

Yesterday I was given a few blissful hours of complete freedom. It. Was. Heaven!

Part 1 of Alone Time:
A bit of Eschatology washed down with a good cup of coffee

I grabbed my St@rbucks gift card* and flew out the front door. Once there, I ordered my drink, found a table, and settled in with my Daniel Bible Study. This is a Beth Moore study that I've been devouring inhaling working through with a group of ladies from church. Oh mercy has it been sweeeeet! We have just passed the halfway point in the book of Daniel, so we're now on Chapter 7. If you're unfamiliar with the book of Daniel it switches gear pretty drastically at the halfway mark. As in, we are no longer playing in the sandbox with familiar stories from Sunday School, we are now bracing our legs and gritting our teeth in a sand storm of deep Bible prophecy.

I have successfully avoided studying eschatology (study of End Times) for years, but not for lack of opportunity, I can assure you. Besides, Ben has studied this stuff out, he can fill me in ... right? The thing is, words with approximately 20 syllables just scare me, as well, my very visual mind can't comprehend some of the mental pictures found in Daniel and Revelation. When something has seven heads and ten horns, my brain says "That does not add up! You've got three extra horns now ... whataya gonna do with those?" Clearly symmetry was not God's goal, yet I consistently strive to find it.

However, I'm ready to tackle it now. Bring it! I can take it. i think.

So there I sat; Bibles and workbook out on the table, creamy cold coffee beverage in left hand, pencil with ample eraser in right. I was ready to dissect Daniel like that poor frog in my 8th grade science class. (And let's be clear, I botched that job pretty good as well.)

Five minutes into it, two lovely ladies sat down right across from me. Fairly quickly I was able to determine that they were fellow sisters in Christ, residents from Texas, here in the area to drop off their son/grandson at the Christian college down the street. Obvious clues were their prayer over sandwiches, the healthy sprinkling of "y'all" and "Bless you" (not for sneezes) and the intense discussion of someone's 'state of rebellion'. (OK that, and I overheard them telling another customer "We're from Texas, here to drop off my grandson, her son, at the Christian college down the street." The way I can just piece those cryptic clues together is simply amazing. Just call me Nancy Drew.) I'm sure that my stack of Bibles clued them in to my beliefs as well. However, while their conversation was chirpy and happy (all except for the short 'state of rebellion' discussion) the joy of the Lord was not quite bouncing off my table like it was theirs. I can only imagine what their impression was of me, as I often held my head in my hands, took deep cleansing breaths, and tried for the umpteenth time to make some sense out of several paragraphs.

The last 2 pages nearly did me in though. I'm not in the habit of writing notes to anyone but myself in my workbook, however, I was pretty sure my brain matter was just going to completely liquefy and run straight out my ear if I did not verbalize my discomfort onto paper. So along the edge of the left margin, right next to the summation on amillenialism, I wrote this little note.

"Head. About. To. Explode.
Help me Jesus!"

Feeling a little better after having expressed myself I continued muddling through the remaining summations as well as a couple of nifty example time lines (thank the Good Lord she did not ask us to chart out those time lines!) And just when I thought I couldn't put one more foreign word into my brain, I read this line in a sentence in the last paragraph.

Bless you Beth for seeing fit to stop and let me breathe. And not a moment to soon. That poor man who had just mopped up next to my table was about to have a whole 'nother mess had it gone on much longer. So I figured since I had asked Jesus to help me, and he clearly had seen fit to do just that, I better jot him one more little note.

One final note, while my brain was exhausted, my spirit was quite happy. I had stretched myself and it felt gooood. If you have the opportunity to learn a little more about the deeper things of the Bible, take it. You won't regret it. Just make sure you've got yourself a good cup of coffee in your left hand before you get started.

*As to the gift cards mentioned above, the coordinator for our bible study has a little bowl of goodies that we can pick from if we do our homework each week. It is total and complete coolness. So far I have snagged for myself a highlighter, some great lip balm, and pink flowered post-it notes. However, last week, my little heart soared when I saw she had stashed St@rbucks gift cards in the bowl!!! I could have kissed her. However, in the spirit of avoiding any awkwardness, I'll just say Stephanie totally Rocks!